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Rearing Chicks

The stock birds are fed two to three times a day with a good Breeding Mixture, they are given as much as they can eat but I don't usually leave food down all day as they tend to become fussy eaters and will leave some of the grains.

During the first few days the parents will provide all that the chicks need from their milk so it is important that the parents get fed and watered properly.

As the chicks develop I try not to let their crops become empty as I believe this is when their growth can be stunted, if the chicks do become empty before the next feed I will  increase the amount of feed at feed times.

I usually put a pot of Hormoform down once a day, this along with grit and minerals. The stock birds can not fly out of the aviary but the widowhoods can and the pots of minerals etc. stops them fielding.

I will increase the amount of food in the feeds as the chicks develop and add a pot of feed to the next box when the chicks are 2 weeks old.

The youngsters will start to leave the nests any where from twenty four days to five weeks. About a week before they are separated from their parents I will feed all birds in their boxes, this will teach the youngsters how to pick at food and they will soon try for themselves. Remove youngsters to the young bird loft when they are seen picking at their food and they have feathered up under their wings.

In the young bird loft, examine the birds to make sure they have eaten. They may need to be put back with parents for a top up. But put them back in the young bird loft as soon as they have been fed.


You may be tempted to leave food down all day long for young birds when they leave the nest but it is better to feed them twice a day  and remove all food between meals. The birds will all eat more at these feed times rather than picking at the feed all day long and not really eating much. It will also be easier for you teach the birds to associate meal times with a rattling tin or some other noise.